Hong Kong Admiralty/’Umbrella Square’ Protest Site Clearing: Live Blog and Live Stream
Follow our coverage of the Admiralty site clearing below.
All times are in Hong Kong time, which is thirteen hours ahead of Eastern Standard time.
English language live stream below live blog.
Here’s five things to know about the clearing of the Admiralty protest camp.
Where is “Umbrella Square?”
It’s the odd-shaped area in light green.
Admiralty is in Hong Kong Island, south of Kowloon Peninsula.
Although Hong Kong high court injunction against the protesters only covers an area just outside the concentration of tents, police have said that they will take the opportunity to clear out the whole site.
What time will police move in?
According to Hong Kong publication Apple Daily, bailiffs and police will arrive on scene on Thursday, 9:00 a.m. local time (Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time).
After the plaintiff’s lawyer reads out the injunction order, protesters will be given 30 minutes to pack their belongings and leave.
By 11:00 a.m. latest, if the protesters don’t move, police will lockdown the site and arrest those who remain on the charge of “contempt of court.”
How will the protesters respond?
Student leaders from the two prominent student groups, Hong Kong Federation of Students and Scholarism, intent to hold their ground for as long as they can in a peaceful, nonviolent manner.
“We will still resist till the last moment,” said Alex Chow, secretary general of HKFS, according to the Associated Press.
“We intend to link hands to have a peaceful sit-in and wait to be arrested,” said Oscar Lai, Scholarism’s spokesman, Wall Street Journal reports.
A new splinter student group, Student Front, has criticized HKFS and Scholarism for planning to tamely surrender and be arrested. The leaderless group declared on their Facebook page that they will stand firm with defensive gear and tactics, and may not stick to the principle of nonviolence.
Will the police be violent?
The Hong Kong police has come under intense public and media scrutiny these past weeks for their violent clearing of the Mong Kok protest site and the protesters’ attempt to retake Lung Ro Road, a major thoroughfare in Admiralty.
Recent polls by the University of Hong Kong saw public support for the police hit an all-time low of 29 percent. The Hong Kong police even ranks behind the People’s Liberation Army Hong Kong garrison in terms of popularity (61 percent versus 63.1 percent)
Police spokesman Cheung Tak-keung says that police will use “minimum force” to drive off protesters who won’t leave.
Numerous Hong Kong newspapers also report that police have been told to only hit protesters’ legs if there is a need for batons.
However, if Student Front sticks to their word and offers stiff resistance, there is no guarantee we won’t see batons, riot shields, and pepper spray flying again.
Can the Umbrella Movement survive the clearance?
Hard to tell.
A recent University of Hong Kong survey of 514 people puts public support of the student occupation at 31.3 percent. 49.3 percent disapprove of the occupation.
Wong Yeung-tat’s Civic Passion political group have been carrying out a “Shopping Revolution” in Mong Kok after the site was cleared, where protesters adopt flash mob tactics to stretch out the police.
It is unclear if the Admiralty protesters, who are a less prone to radical and guerilla tactics, will adopt this strategy.
In any event, police plan to patrol Admiralty after the clearance to prevent a reoccupation.